Oil drops on rising US drilling, steady OPEC supply
30 March, 2017, 01:58 | Author: Elaine Woods
Opec will extend the deal if stockpiles are still above their five-year average, Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in an interview with Bloomberg Television last week.
In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 33 cents at $48.38 a barrel, after testing support at $47 a barrel overnight.
In late November, Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) OPEC's president said the group will reduce output by 1.2 million barrels of oil a day starting January 2017.
The revival of shale oil production - whose growth added to the oversupply that battered oil prices in mid-2014 - has restrained the rally this year and may worry OPEC leaders.
Global benchmark Brent futures for May delivery were down 84 cents, or 1.7 per cent, at $US50.12 a barrel by mid morning trade in NY on Wednesday (early Thursday AEDT).
The market may come under further pressure as US rig counts continue to rise, indicating production growth is outpacing demand, he said.
"I think oil is reacting still to the steady rise in the U.S. rig count and the realization that momentum is building to the downside from the repositioning of speculative interests in the market", said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in NY.
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Despite cuts, analysts warned of renewed or ongoing oversupply in coming years, especially as US shale producers ramp up and once OPEC returns to full capacity.
"The market remains nervous about rising United States production, which is also reducing the effectiveness of output cuts by the OPEC and some non-OPEC countries", Kumar added. "Another increase would be generally bearish for WTI-related spreads", Varga said.
Oil has traditionally been a major barometer for the USA and the world economy.
USA production rose to 9.1 million bpd for the week ended March 10 from an average 8.9 million bpd for 2016 as shale producers added rigs. Declining production in the Midwest, expansions in pipeline capacity, and more attractive imports due to narrowing crude oil price spreads all contributed to reducing movements of crude by rail.
Some say the gush of new US oil in the market, combined with rising production out of Libya, will leave OPEC little choice but to prolong the production cut plan beyond the initial January-June period. EIA forecasts show that U.S. shale oil production is expected to rise again in April by 109,000 bpd to 4.96 million bpd suggesting that shale is surely making a comeback at this level of oil prices.
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